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Story Land & Sea®

Story's Small Group tour of Spain begins in Madrid and ends in Barcelona.

The Best of Spain Tour


Small Group Tour of Spain
& Her Great Cities

Slow Travel through Spain with Time to Enjoy the Journey

Story Land & Sea®'s Best of Spain Tour features wild, beautiful and contradictory landscapes, villages and cities. From Roman relics and Muslim palaces to baroque cathedrals and daring modern city centers, Spain boast a dazzling blend of civilization, culture and color. This small group itinerary is a treasure chest of cultural jewels that stretch across a wide palette.

Unique Itinerary
Every day is unique. It's all about the colorful life! We'll see fiery flamenco bailaors swirl in flounces of red, wind along emerald green mountains that seem to tumble into the wild blue Atlantic, and stroll through whitewashed villages huddled under 500-year old red-tiled roofs. Spain seems to be a country that has a thousand different countries within. Wherever you look, Roman arches and Arab filigree meet, creating a colorful, eclectic mash of centuries. The Spanish put their heart and soul into everything they do. They may be the world's most sociable people. Meals are celebrations. Art is passionate. The sun is hot. And the flamenco from Spain is very cool.


  • Spain & Portual Tours
  • Tours of Spain
  • Travel to Spain
  • Spanish Landmarks
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Portugal & Spain Vacation

Best of Spain: Begins in Madrid

Day 1: Trans-Atlantic flight to Europe.
Depart Your Home Airport on your Transatlantic flight to Madrid.
Your international flight is not included. Inquire for special fare and service from our Air Service department.

NOTE: Please Note: "Day 1" is the published tour date and is the date you will arrange your air travel to depart your home airport. Your Small Group Tour will commence on Itinerary Day 2 upon arrival in Madrid, Spain.

Can we help you with your Airfare? Yes, we can arrange your air travel from the Story Land & Sea®  air department. We'll work with you to get the absolutely lowest fare available based on your travel preferences. We utilize both our own air department and online agencies to find the best rate. At the end of the tour you should set your flight to return from Madrid (MAD). Or if you are extending to Barcelona, then you should set your flight to return from there (BCN).

Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination (Madrid, Spain) on time regardless of whether Story Land & Sea® has arranged your air.

May we suggest? How about flying in one day early to add the Prado and a pre-tour overnight to recover from your Transatlantic flight?

Protect Your Vacation: We very much encourage trip cancellation and interruption insurance.  




Welcome to Madrid

 


Day 2: Madrid
   Story Way® Dining: Enjoy our Included Welcome Dinner

Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Europe is underway!

Your flights will likely be set up to arrive today. After transferring to the hotel (see optional arrival transfer option or make your own way to the hotel), check-in, freshen up and explore your surroundings.

One of Story Land & Sea®'s most popular True Small-Group® tour vacations commences this afternoon at our Deluxe hotel located in the heart of Madrid.

WELCOME TO MADRID
After your bags are stored securely (rooms aren't ready until 3pm), you will have free time until we meet later today to begin our adventure through Madrid with our local Expert Story Guide.

ROYAL PALACE
The capital of Spain since 1561, Madrid is a beautifully modern city with a truly old heart. On this privately guided walking tour, we'll enjoy a walk through the Puerta del Sol and a guided tour of the Royal Palace, one of the most amazing venues in all of Europe.

PLAZA MAYOR & SAN MIGUEL MARKET
Then enjoy our Unique Perspectives Experience at Plaza Mayor with your Tour Captain. The sights, scents and tastes of the San Miguel Market are also a highlight and provide an opportunity for tapas (delightful appetizers) as we enjoy an 'early dinner' in Madrid at guest expense. Your Tour Captain will assist you with ordering your Tapas tonight. Our traditional Story Welcome Dinner will occur "tomorrow evening" or Day 3 of this itinerary.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Light

Accommodation in Madrid, 2 Nights
Deluxe: ME Madrid Reina Victoria Hotel

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Toledo
 
Cordoba Mezquita

Day 3: City of Three Cultures

Today, you will experience our adventure through Toledo with our Expert Story Guide. We travel from Madrid to Toledo for the day and return in the mid afternoon for the balance of your day at leisure.

TOLEDO EXPERIENCE
It's a comprehensive look at Spain's past when Arabs, Jews and Christians all lived and worked side by side. Toledo is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest wealth of monuments. Known as the “city of the three cultures,” because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together there for centuries, behind its walls.

CATHEDRAL OF TOLEDO
Construction of the edifice began in 1227 under the reign of King Ferdinand the Saint on the site of a mosque. The design has French influences and was initiated under the first architect was a man with the surname Martín. Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues.

We return to Madrid in the late afternoon.

MAY WE SUGGEST? THE PRADO MUSEUM
There may be enough time to discover the amazing art museum such as the Prado this afternoon but we recommend you start your entire tour one day early by flying in to enjoy a more leisurely experience at the Prado and other impressive museums Madrid offers.

Other Venues to Consider: A day to discover the amazing art museums such as the Prado, the Theissen, or the Reina Sofia with Picasso's Guernica as its main feature. You could visit the Templo de Debod, an ancient Egyptian Temple rebuilt in Madrid, or stroll in the beautiful Parque del Ritiro, Madrid's gorgeous city park. Your Tour Captain is ready, willing and able to assist you with anything you might have in mind to insure that this day is uniquely your own.

Tonight we will kick off our journey officially with our Welcome Dinner in Madrid.

food icon    Story Way® Dining
The Story Land & Sea® Way of Dining debuts as you join your Tour Captain for the Welcome Dinner in Madrid. Experience what can only be described as a night of the best cuisine and vino from the region.

About The Story Way® of Dining in Spain
NOTE: Our approach to dining is truly unique but so is the dinner time in Spain! We dine when the locals do and that means a very late start time for dinner, usually 9pm. Thinking you may get hungry earlier? Employ the skill of Tapas that you learned on your arrival day!

Our favorites dishes represent the region we're traveling through. We call this 'speaking the language of your food.' From our unique, off-the-beaten-path restaurants we visit for each included dinner to the variety of hand-crafted dishes, it's truly an immersion into authentic Spanish cuisine paired with Spanish wine. Your Tour Captain is there to make sure your dining experience goes smoothly and will help you interpret any menu item. For the 5 total included dinners, your Tour Captain will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your wine for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region in which you're traveling ~ and yes, "the wine does flow." It's an intentionally slow evening of delight so you can savor the experience in the local culture. Bienvenidos!

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Cordoba
 
Cordoba Mezquita

Day 4: Unhurried Beauty

    Story Way® Dining: Join our Tour Captain for a dinner in Cordoba.

Wake to Madrid: Hola Cordoba!
This morning enjoy a leisurely start with breakfast and then meet your Tour Captain for our included transfer to the train station for our included, First-Class Tickets on the Fast Train to Cordoba. We zip along the Spanish countryside and arrive in Cordoba late morning.

WELCOME TO CORDOBA
We deboard the train and transfer to our home in Cordoba, our deluxe hotel.

ORIENTATION WALKABOUT: Join your Tour Captain for a Welcome Orientation Walk on your arrival day in Cordoba along cobblestone streets in the very heart of this beautiful city as you become familiar with the location around our hotel. We include time for lunch on your own built in.

Cordoba is an unhurried city, known for its abundant courtyards (or patios as they are called locally), flowers dangling from balconies and narrow winding streets. There will be plenty of time at leisure this afternoon to explore this amazing city at your own pace. We check-in to our luxury hotel before meeting for our welcome dinner.

food icon    Story Way® Dining
Join the Tour Captain for dinner in Cordoba tonight at our wonderful hotel — unlike most of our Story Way® dinners this restaurant is absolutely a destination for dining.

Accommodation in Cordoba, 2 Nights
Deluxe:
Hospes Palacio del Bailio

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Cordoba~Immersion with the Mezquita
 

Day 5: Cordoba

This morning we are set to explore Cordoba with our Expert Story Guide. 

LA MEZQUITA
Enjoy a tour of the La Mezquita (Spanish for the word, mosque), and discover the building's 1200 year history. It has served as a meeting place for Christians, a Moorish mosque, and since the 1500s, a Roman Catholic cathedral.

Your afternoon will be at leisure designed intentionally for you to enjoy more of this amazing city. Choose to indulge yourself with some of the wonderful Spa treatments offered by our luxurious 5-Star hotel. Enjoy!

Optional dining tonight with the Tour Captain.

 
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Granada ~ Beauty for the Eyes
 

Day 6: Granada

    Story Way® Dining: Join the Tour Captain for a delightful dinner in one of the most amazing places in all of Granada.

This morning we are bound for Granada. Boasting one of the most magnificently positioned palaces in the world, the Alhambra.

Story Exclusive®
We will make a stop this morning near Priego de Cordoba for an Olive Oil tasting. Priego de Cordoba, a 90-minute drive into the mountains southeast of Cordoba, is a picturesque town in a major olive oil region with half a dozen important mills, known as Al Masara in Arabic. Cordoba is proud of its olive oil and nowhere more so than Priego, which like wine has its own regional denomination and is considered the best in Spain. The age of the olive trees varies from 40 to 200. The 16,000 trees are spread over 170 hectares (420 acres) and carefully spaced to provide enough soil to nourish each one, creating a dotted patchwork over the hillsides.

We then continue on to Granada. It is as wondrous to behold from across the gorge, with the white peaks of the Sierra Nevada glinting behind in the sun, as it is to examine close at hand, with its elaborate symbolic designs. The city has a fascinating history, which can still be seen today in Granada ́s carmens and Arab baths.

Upon arrival into the city we will set out for a wonderful orientation walk and take time for lunch, at guest expense, in the city center before checking into our centrally located hotel.

food icon    Story Way® Dining
Tonight, enjoy our Unique Perspectives Experience with your Tour Captain at our welcome dinner in Granada.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace; Volume: Light

Accommodation in Granada, 2 Nights
Deluxe:
Hospes Palacio de Los Patos

 

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The Alhambra in Granada, Ferdinand & Isabella
 
Italy's Lake Como

Day 7: Granada

Today we enjoy our immersion tour of Granada along with the Alhambra palace and fortress complex.

THE ALHAMBRA
We start with a look around town culminating in the magnificent fortress that crowns the city where we'll meet our local Expert Story Guide for our tour. We enjoy a walking tour of the Palace, the massive grounds, and the spectacular water gardens of the Generalife. The grounds were used in the 1300's as the Islamic Sultan's vacation retreat. Soak in impressive views of the Old Quarter and Sacromonte, a mountain occupied by Gypsy cave dwellers, and other notables on the skyline.

The balance of your day is at leisure.

Join our Tour Captain for an optional dinner in Granada.

 
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Seville

Day 8: To Seville

Today, we'll take the road less traveled, making our way eventually to Seville arriving mid-day.

WELCOME TO SEVILLE
Arriving our hotel we will check-in to our deluxe hotel.

ORIENTATION WALKABOUT: Join your Tour Captain for a Welcome Orientation walk on your arrival day in Seville along cobblestone streets in the very heart of this beautiful city as you become familiar with the location around our hotel.

Enjoy a Sangria Reception with the Tour Captain this afternoon with time at leisure until dinner.

   Story Way® Dining: Flamenco Show & Dinner Tonight

Tonight we'll take in a traditional Flamenco Show & Dinner for our welcome experience in Seville.

Exclusive Flamenco Show & Dinner Included: We'll take in the passion and seduction of the art-form known as the Flamenco. A show is Included with our dinner. Flamenco is an art form that was born, and thrives, here in Spain. Spanish flamenco is the best because Spaniards start dancing when they can barely walk, and they dance everyday. The stomping of the feet, the twirling of the body, and the drama of the music are simply part of their culture.

 
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Seville ~ Columbus | Royal Palace

Day 9: The Beautiful Colors of Seville

SEVILLE - CATHEDRAL - ALCAZAR ROYAL PALACE
You’ll have a wonderful Spanish breakfast this morning and then meet our local guide, who will accompany us to relive the drama of Carmen as we explore this historical city. Seville's city tour embraces its ancient Roman history, conquest by the Moors and contribution to the discovery of the New World. Like all old cities built haphazardly over the centuries, walking around Seville is a dream, and most probably one of Europe's most beautiful places. Its alleys twist and turn, and sometimes the tiny courtyards feature an orange or a lime tree bursting with vivid color.

As we pick through the narrow lanes of the charming city, we'll view Columbus' tomb in the Cathedral, the world's largest Gothic edifice. Then we're on to the Alcázar, the longest inhabited royal palace in Europe and a marvel of Moorish-style architecture.The variety of small palaces that make it up is amazing. The stucco work and the Mudejar ceilings are simply beautiful. The tiles on the walls are some of the most beautiful tiles ever made in Spain or anywhere. The huge gardens are marvelous and a joy to discover.

Then on to its Giralda Bell Tower, which was once the minaret of a 12th-century mosque, with views of all of Seville.

Tonight, enjoy an optional dinner with the Tour Captain or explore at leisure.

 
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Experiencing Barcelona - Magical City

Madrid, Spain


Day 10: Seville to Barcelona

Today we make our way to the Seville airport for the required on-tour air flight to Barcelona. This may occur in the morning or afternoon (see final documents for details - your Tour Captain will also manage all the logistics this day).

Upon arrival we will we transferred to our fantastic city center hotel, check-in and set out with the Tour Captain for an informative city orientation walkabout.

OPTIONAL DINNER TONIGHT ~ Join our Tour Captain for an optional dinner in Barcelona. May we suggest a Tapas Crawl tonight led by your Tour Captain.

 
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Barcelona Sightseeing Immersion

Day 11: Barcelona

   Story Way® Dining: Tonight we invite you to join us for an equally magical evening of fun and merriment as we enjoy our Farewell feast together at a local favorite restaurant.

After breakfast, meet our guide in lobby and enjoy a sightseeing excursion of Barcelona.

BARCELONA SIGHTSEEING
Today enjoy our tour of Barcelona including:

  • We drive to Montjuïc Hill to take in the Olympic Site with spectacular panoramic views of the city. Enjoy our walking immersion of Barcelona with:
    • We enjoy the Placa de Espanya and the 1929 World Fair grounds
    • Passeig de Gràcia: Barcelona's most elegant avenue with Gaudí's Batlló and Milà Houses
    • Holy Family church —  Enjoy admission to the Sagrada Familia
    • Enjoy a walk through of Guell Park and highlights of Gaudi's handiwork

    We are transported by vehicle but we also enjoy walking through the very heart of Barcelona.

food icon    Story Way® Dining
Farewell Experience tonight with your Tour Captain. Tonight we invite you to join us for an equally magical evening of fun and merriment as we enjoy our Farewell feast together at a local favorite restaurant. Celebrate new friends, our journey together and dream of the next chapter of your Story of Travel!

 
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Departure Day


Day 12: Barcelona Departure or Extend another day in Barcelona or ask about Ibiza and Mallorca extensions.

Inquire about departure transfers.

Catch your flight home from Barcelona or Extend Your Adventure. Until we meet again, may your days be full of discovery and your nights full of good friends. Or are you extending to the exciting city of Paris? or some other exotic destination...inquire with reservations for details.

### END of TOUR ### .


 
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Heart of City Hotels mean your experience is like none other in the travel industry.

There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story Land & Sea's Heart of City hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you're in the historical heart of the cities and villages.

Our small group Italy tour hotels feature historical architecture with all the amenities you'd come to expect. The properties are located in the heart of the cities, towns and villages. We proudly feature the following Spain tour hotels which have been personally inspected for quality and standard. On very rare occasion, we may substitute any Spain hotel with a Spain tour property of equal or greater quality and standard.

Remember, availability in tour hotels may be affected based on seasonal demand. Alternate hotel properties of equal quality will be used when the following hotels are not available.

 

Madrid Hotel - 2 Nights

Cordoba Hotel - 2 Nights

Granada Hotels - 2 Night

Seville Hotels - 2 Nights



Barcelona Hotel - 2 Nights



What's Included in Your Small Group Tour?

Something for everyone... Whether you're a "first-timer" to Spain or have visited many times, we invite you to join us for this exciting tour program. For one set price, you'll be staying in first-class accommodations in each city and have the experience of local, English-speaking tour guides. You'll have a chance to visit all the major, "must-see" sites, plus enough free time on your own to visit the places that really matter to you...or, you can simply enjoy that time relishing your first taste of Spanish tapas -it's entirely up to you. 

Slow & Small Spain Tour: The Delightful Inclusions

Helpful information to better your preparation for your world-class journey through Spain. From weather and clothing recommendations to currency and excursion details, it's all right here.

We've tried to include everything on the journey, however, make note of the following:
  • ARRIVING MADRID —  Consider Our Driver 
    Our AnyTime Arrival Transfer with professional chauffeur into Madrid: We feature Story Land & Sea®'s Madrid Meet & Greet with driver to the hotel. $79/person, 2 Guest Minimum. Includes all gratuities.
  • LEAVE THE WORRY TO US —  We can arrange your departure transfer to the airport in Barcelona.
    Departure Transfers: $79 per person, Barcelona Hotel to Airport, minimum two (2) guests.
  • SHERRY TASTING EXPERIENCE INCLUDED
    Our delightful included experience is at a sherry venue with some stunning art work to boot.
  • DISCOVERING SPAIN'S CUISINE
    Our itinerary includes a dramatic experience with cuisine as we enjoy a variety of included dinners. Daily breakfast is included. Our Tour Captains and Guides will offer great, affordable suggestions for delicious lunches and optional dinners.
  • Story Land & Sea® WAY DINING INCLUDED —  5 Great Dinners
    5 incredibly unique dinners at authenic Spanish restaurants (not tourist traps) are included. Our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to dinner at authentic restaurants each and every night, though you may choose to explore on your own. Deluxe: 5 of 8 dinners included.
  • EXPERT LOCAL GUIDES INCLUDED
    Expert, local Spanish guides in per itinerary. They speak English well, and possess a passion for sharing Spain with our guests.
  • DISCOVER Story Land & Sea® IMMERSION SIGHTSEEING
    World-class sightseeing 'Immersion' ~ Story Land & Sea®'s approach to exploring the local scene while integrating lasting experiences that reflect culture and leave you, the traveler, changed for good!
  • SPECIAL ACCESS, SKIP-THE-LINE ADMISSIONS INCLUDED PER ITINERARY
  • Airfare is not included but it can be quoted by emailing here.
  • Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance is not included. We highly recommend Travelex-Insurance.com to protect your vacation. 

    Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of your small group Spain tour origination.
     If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even ifStory Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your Spain land tour vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.

That's it ~ everything else excluding personal item purchases is included.

Included sightseeing and excursions

Story Land & Sea®'s Unique Walking Tour Experience
We do walk on our small group tours of Spain. We walk a lot, but it's unhurried and there are ample opportunities to sit and relax. But you must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many stairs of Spain. Please inquire with Story Land & Sea® Reservations for more details.


 

Best of Spain Tour
Dates & Rates


 
2018 Scheduled Departures.

Published prices are based on a guaranteed departure with at least six (6) Story guests — Inquire with reservations to find out your preferred departure's current tour size and pricing: 1 (877) 865-6711

Take over a departure for your own private group - inquire for details.

Prefer to travel with just the two of you? Inquire for our Private Journey option.

Published Date Deluxe
Hotels
Required
On-Tour Air
Departures in May - June 2018:
May is the preferred time to travel to Spain in spring-summer with crowd volumes not as great as that of summer.
May 1
$5,879 $265
May 25
$5,879 $265
June 18
$5,879 $265
Departures in July-Sep 2018:
September is the next most-preferred and popular time to travel to Spain. Crowd volumes are not as great and the weather is good, though still can be quite warm in early October.
Sep 20
$5,879 $295
Departures in October 2018
Oct 10
$5,879 $295
2019 Scheduled Departures.

Published prices are based on a guaranteed departure with at least six (6) Story guests — Inquire with reservations to find out your preferred departure's current tour size and pricing: 1 (877) 865-6711

Take over a departure for your own private group - inquire for details.

Prefer to travel with just the two of you? Inquire for our Private Journey option.

Published Date Deluxe
Hotels
Required
On-Tour Air
Departures in Sep 2019:
September is the next most-preferred and popular time to travel to Spain. Crowd volumes are not as great and the weather is good, though still can be quite warm in early October.
Sep 21
$5,879 $295
Departures in October 2017
Oct 5
$5,879 $265

 

 


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